Days to the General Election: 27
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Banking and finance briefs: Aussie big banks expected to escape funding blowout

Banking and finance briefs: Aussie big banks expected to escape funding blowout
1. Big Aussie banks should escape funding cost blowout The big four Australian banks are expected to largely escape a wholesale funding cost blowout caused by the Greek debt crisis, The Australian reports, because they are largely funded for the rest of the year already. That said, the newspaper said Deutsche Bank analysis showed Westpac still needed to raise A$16 billion this year and ANZ was expected to seek A$8 billion.
Deutsche Bank analyst James Freeman said the AA-rating of the Australian banks would also mean access to funding should be unimpeded... "Given the recent market concerns around the escalating Greek debt crisis and the speculation of a contagion effect throughout the EU, we don't see this as a key concern for the Australian banks and their access to wholesale funding," he said. "The crisis has the potential to translate into increased funding costs, but given the major banks have raised more than half of their 2010 funding task, we believe the banks will be able to continue to raise wholesale funding in the international markets." Mr Freeman said Commonwealth Bank and Westpac would experience the greatest pain if funding costs increased, as they had the largest mortgage books out of the majors.
2. South Canterbury Finance appoints treasurer
Beleaguered South Canterbury Finance has appointed Greg Pearse as group treasurer on a fixed term, three month contract. Pearse will report to chief executive Sandy Maier and will be responsible for cash management and forecasting along with other treasury functions. South Canterbury said Pearse had previously developed and managed treasury activities both in New Zealand and overseas across the banking, agriculture and consumer packaging sectors.
3. PGC names new chief risk officer Marac's parent company Pyne Gould Corporation has named Mark Mountcastle, a former ASB and Westpac banker, as its chief risk officer. He replaces Grant Atkinson who disappeared in February before being found sleeping rough by police who described him as disheveled and slightly disoriented. PGC managing director Jeff Greenslade said Mountcastle's skills and banking experience would be invaluable given the group's goal of obtaining a banking licence. Mountcastle has been working as PGC's acting chief risk officer.
Pyne Gould Corporation’s Managing Director Jeff Greenslade said: “Mark is ideally suited to the role of Chief Risk Officer with his extensive background in risk management from more than 20 years in the finance and banking sector in New Zealand.   In this position, he is responsible for managing the business’s credit, market, liquidity and operational risks. Mark’s skills in this area along with his banking experience from working for ASB and Westpac will be invaluable to us as we move towards our goal of applying for a bank licence.”
4. Crown withdraws guarantee from FAI Money FAI Money Limited, owned by Hanover Finance co-founders Eric Watson and Mark Hotchin, has been dropped from the Crown retail deposit guarantee scheme. Treasury said it was notified in late March by FAI that it had repaid all debenture holders and stopped taking deposits from the public and that it had no outstanding debt securities on issue.
“The Crown stands fully behind its guarantee commitments. In this instance, while there has been no default event relating to FAI or its successor company FAI Money Limited, there is no longer a practical need to maintain those commitments because all of FAI Money Limited’s depositors have been repaid and it no longer has any depositors eligible to benefit from the guarantee,” said Dr Brian McCulloch, Treasury’s Director of Financial Operations.
5. New Shell owner makes key appointments Greenstone Energy, which owns and operates the former Shell downstream retail fuel and distribution assets on behalf of Infratil and the New Zealand Superannuation Fund, has appointed Mike Basher its chief financial officer. He was previously chief financial officer and company secretary at the majority Infratil owned Wellington International Airport. Lindis Jones, a former head of property at ANZ National Bank, has been appointed corporate general manager. Greenstone's previously appointed chief executive is former BP executive Mike Bennetts. This was first published this morning in our Daily Banking and Finance newsletter, which is for our paying subscribers. Find out more here.

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Days to the General Election: 27
See Party Policies here. Party Lists here.